CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Congressman Holt: some of us continue to have strong concerns about the FBI’s bungled investigation (of the 2001 anthrax attacks)

Posted by DXer on September 23, 2010


The FBI’s case against Dr. Ivins is clearly bogus: no evidence, no witnesses, an impossible timeline, science that proves innocence instead of guilt.

So what really happened? And why? The “fictional” scenario in my novel CASE CLOSED has been judged by many readers, including a highly respected official in the U.S. Intelligence Community, as perhaps more plausible than the FBI’s unproven assertions.

* buy CASE CLOSED at amazon *


Last year, the FBI announced it had closed its investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks. Even though the government has decided to move on, some of us continue to have strong concerns about the FBI’s bungled investigation. All of us – but especially the families of the victims of the anthrax attacks – deserve credible answers about how the attacks happened and whether the case really should be closed.

I’m pleased to report that last month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) – the investigative arm of Congress – agreed to investigate the scientific and technical methods used by the FBI, something I requested earlier this year. The GAO investigation will be the first Congressionally-directed investigation of the FBI’s handling of the case.

The investigation is welcome, as is an ongoing National Academy of Sciences examination into a range of scientific questions about the FBI’s scientific conclusions. Yet, I still am working to pass legislation to create acomprehensive Congressional commission to investigate the attacks and the federal government’s response to and investigation of the attacks. The bipartisan commission would make recommendations for preventing and responding to any future bioterrorism attack.

11 Responses to “* Congressman Holt: some of us continue to have strong concerns about the FBI’s bungled investigation (of the 2001 anthrax attacks)”

  1. DXer said

    From: [redacted]
    To: [redacted]
    Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:45 PM To:
    Cc: Subject: RE: Question about MRIID (UNCLASSIFIED) Importance: High
    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

    To address the concerns let me start by saying that USAMRIID does not possess, does not receive, and does not produce “weaponized” anthrax. If has information to this regard, I would very much like to know the specifics of that. This is not a matter of semantics either. The assertion that any weapons-grade materials, as in the preparations that would be placed into an offensive weapon, being worked on here at RIID is not correct. Materials produced for medical countermeasure development – as in vaccines, drugs and diagnostic assays – are used within the research program, and are not in any way “weaponized”.
    Secondly, I will check to see if any anthrax specimens were subject to misshipment from USAMRIID. Again, I would like to have the specifics on this assertion to be able to either verify or refute.
    Best regards,

    • DXer said

      From: [redacted]
      To: [redacted]
      Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007 12:30 PM To:
      Subject: Question about MRIID (UNCLASSIFIED)
      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

      _______asked me about something that ______ told her. There was weaponized anthrax that came to Detrick and then was shipped out and some was missing. I told her I would ask if any situation occurred that led him to say this. I remember the Southern Research issue when they shipped anthrax to California, and it got lost. I think they ended up locating it.

  2. DXer said

    From: [redacted]
    To: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID;
    Subject: FW: Question about MRIID (UNCLASSIFIED)
    Sent: Wednesday, December 12, 2007


    Please read below. I do not know of an instance of a “misshippment from USAMRIID.” Do any of you know of an instance where we received or shipped something and part of it was missing? Thanks,

  3. DXer said

    From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: RE: Question about MRIID (UNCLASSIFIED) Wednesday,
    Date: December 12, 2007 1:51:36 PM

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

    Our lab has shipped lots of spores to researchers and research institutes outside of USAMRIID. We have also provided spores to people here at USAMRIID. To the best of my knowledge, we haven’t had a shipment disappear, although I think we had at least one that went to Battelle (or DPG) that was screwed up for a few days because of missed flights, etc.

    Also, our lab has always worked with spores in suspension, not weaponized spores. The spores we used to work with were stored in the coldroom in
    or over in in the coldroom or refrigerator in room ).

    Does this refer to any material that DPG sent here for irradiation, then was sent back?
    Bruce Ivins

  4. DXer said

    From: To: Cc: Subject: Date: Attachments:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Material taken from(b suite during the evening of 1 NOV 07 (UNCLASSIFIED) Monday, November 19, 2007 11:49:23 AM

    Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

    Please see attached for material that was taken from the suite refrigerator during the evening of 1 NOV 07. This material consisted of both viable and non-v(i2ab)le (irradiated) preparations of Bacillus anthracis Sterne, Delta Sterne, and Ames. The Ames strain material had been killed by irradiation at 4 million (or greater) Rads by at USAMRIID. At least 10% of each irradiated preparation was tested to ensure non-viability by Numerous preparations had been prepared, harvested and purified by different methods for studies by my laboratory and other laboratories. Investigators such as as well as investigators outside the institute, have all received spores from us from the material that was removed. In addition, NIAID is funding a project aimed at (b) comparison of dif(f2e)rent methods of production, harvest and purification, to optimize condtions that produce spores for use in vaccine, therapeutic, and diagnostic studies. The material taken now can’t be used for such studies.
    Additionally, and of significant importance, is that in producing, harvesting and purifying the preparations taken, reaggravated a serious shoulder injury that resulted in her having to seek medical attention. Her work is now gone.

    The only viable material taken from the refrigerator were strains that were non-virulent and couldn’t cause disease in either humans or anima)ls. Ames strain material taken from had been inactivated by irradiation and has been requested by in(v2e)stigators for studies both inside an(2d)outside USAMRIID.

    Although none of the material taken from the refrigerator was covered by the select agent inventory (since it either was inactivated or was exempt)from the list by virtue of being Sterne or Delta-Sterne), it was still valuable for researchers and its loss will have an effect on future work by investigators requesting the material.

    — Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From: To: Cc: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Notification of intent to retire (UNCLASSIFIED) Wednesday, January 02, 2008 12:19:41 PM

      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

      I wish to inform you with this email of my intent to resign from my government civil service position (DB-0403-03) as of 30 SEP 08, the end of the current fiscal year. I am beginning the paperwork necessary for the retirement process and am meeting with in Human Resources on 9 JAN.
      Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From: Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2007 10:51 AM To:
      Cc: ; Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID Subject: Fermentor studies that wouldn’t require (UNCLASSIFIED)
      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

      I have an idea about some fermentor studies (using the Sterne vaccine strain) that wouldn’t require the use of containment and that and his people could do. I know that you know how to usethefermentorsthatyouordered.Hopefullyyougotsomethat(w6o)uldtakesmallvolumes(Vesselsize of 10 liters, or 5 liters, so that runs of 3 to 6 liters could be accomplished.) Dugway apparently is having lots of problems with contamination, steam problems, poor spore yields, etc., and I was thinking that a lot of what DPG said they would do (as far as working out optimum fermentor conditions) they’ve been unable to do. We could use the money that would have gone to Dugway Proving Ground inder the NIAID agreement and do much of the work ourselves, using our methodology stepped up to the fermentor scale. So far the best media are NSM + CaCl2 broth, and Leighton and Doi medium with 8 g/liter of nutrient broth. In flask cultures, we inoculate sheep blood agar plates with the the strain to be grown up, streaking for isolated colonies. The next day, we pick (I think 3) typical isolated colonies and resuspend them in 10 ml of Dulbecco’s PBS with Calcium and Magnesium. Then we add 0.1 ml of the suspension to each 250 ml of medium. That would mean that if you were going to run a 6-liter batch in a 10-liter fermentor, I’d give you a syringe containing 2.4 ml of bacteria suspended in PBS for inoculation. I know that lots of places do “step-up” cultures of fermentation (about 1:10), but DPG seems to be having problems with their procedure. Could this be done at the place that now houses your fermentors? COuld a fermentor be brought up here and set-up in a lab (perhaps with extra safety, like a bio-bubble over the fermentor). I haven’t run a fermentor since the early 1980s, but I could help with the rest of it (making media, preparing inocula, centrifuging down product) if you or someone in your lab could do the actual run.

      We could optimize fermentor conditions without having to transfer money out of USAMRIID, without having to go into ____.

  5. DXer said

    From:Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    Subject: Fermentor studies with Sterne
    Date: December 10, 2007 3:54:01 PM

    At some point, (and ), we may want to talk to and about doing studies in the fermento(6r)here at RIID. I really think that we could employ what we do in
    (f6la)sks just on a larger scale when it comes to the fermentor.
    Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From: To: Cc: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Helping you with your strain study (UNCLASSIFIED) Thursday, December 20, 2007 12:01:42 PM

      I talked to yesterday. In January, I should be able to go back into the suites with a “mentor,”
      (such as you or _____and I’d be delighted to help you however I can as far as looking at the strains brought back from the various places. Do you have a microscope in your lab? If not, we could get you access to our lab in _____ (it requires a PIN to get in) and we could use that microscope. The best media for confirming unifor)mity or determining differences in strains is sheep blood agar. TSA is good for counting.Ifyoulike(,2w)ecouldgrowupacomparativeplate(orsetofplates)withastandardanthrax strain (such as Ames or Vollum 1B). We can also make some small quantities of Leighton and Doi medium to grow up the isolates to see how well they make spores. you have access to (the anthrax production facilityb). Since may well be doing some work (as far as character(i2za)tion, growth, etc.) in(b) (2) could)you request that she be granted access to the lab? If I need to put through a request to the Division( Chief and the suite supervisor, I’ll be happy to do that, but since I’ll be on the “mentorship” program,6at least through the AIG inspection, perhaps the request should come from you or

      Thanks. I look forward to working with you
      Bruce Ivins

  6. DXer said

    In a January 8, 2008 email, Dr. Ivins inquires about whether he is allowed to work in the lab.

    From: To: Subject: Date:
    Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
    (UNCLASSIFIED) Tuesday, January 08, 2008 10:33:38 AM

    Now that is no longer a select agent suite, am I allowed back in it to work, or do I need a mentor back there). I see my healthcare provider on Friday who will call and make recommendations with respect to work in ____

    Bruce Ivins

    • DXer said

      From: To: Cc: Subject: Date:
      Ivins, Bruce E Dr USAMRIID
      Mentorship program (UNCLASSIFIED) Wednesday, January 02, 2008 2:46:26 PM

      Classification: UNCLASSIFIED Caveats: NONE

      As you know, since the first of November, I have not been into the biocontainment suites for medical reasons. I would like to request a meeting with you, and if you and my CO, are in agreement, I would like to be allowed “mentorship access” into , with either
      or both of whom have full access. I think that such mentorship access should continue at least until the AIG inspection has been completed. At that time I will consult with my personal healthcare provider, who can then advise you as to his opinion with respect to my capability of working independently in the biocontainment suites.
      Please call me or email me as soon as you can so that we can have a meeting, and then you and can agree upon a course of action.

      Sincerely, Bruce Ivins

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